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Know Your Rights
Source: New York City Food Policy Center
Subject: Health Justice & Access
Type: Media Coverage

Make the Road New York: NYC Food Based Community Organization Spotlight

What they do: Make the Road New York (MRNY) is the largest participatory immigrant organization in New York with 20,000+ members. With vibrant community centers in Bushwick, Brooklyn; Jackson Heights, Queens; Port Richmond, Staten Island; and Brentwood, Long Island, MRNY gives voice to thousands of immigrants and working class New Yorkers through community organizing, educates tomorrow’s leaders and provides services to support families.

How they do it: Make the Road New York promotes equal rights and economic and political opportunity for immigrant New Yorkers through: Community and Electoral OrganizingLeadership DevelopmentAdult EducationYouth DevelopmentLegal and Health Services and Strategic Policy Advocacy.

Mission: MRNY builds the power of Latinx and working class communities of color to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education and the provision of survival services.

Major funding: Hagedorn Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, Single Stop USA, New York State Department of Health/Community Service Society, United Way of New York City, New York State Education Department

Profit/Nonprofit: Non-profit

Annual Budget: $16,797,537

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: Make the Road NY’s Bushwick neighbors and pantry client-volunteers help harvest fresh vegetables grown at their community garden, Grove St. Farm, for distribution at their weekly food pantry!


Location:  Bushwick, Brooklyn; Jackson Heights, Queens; Port Richmond, Staten Island; and Brentwood, Long Island

Core Health Department Programs: 

  • Health Insurance Enrollment
  • Food Stamp Enrollment
  • Healthcare navigation services (including lowering hospital bills)
  • Community Health Worker training and services
  • Food pantry
  • Grove Street Farm
  • Partnership with Bushwick Campus High School – food justice programming, coordination with campus farm and service provision

Number of staff: 185

Number of volunteers: 50

Areas Served:

  • Brooklyn
  • Staten Island
  • Queens
  • Long Island

Date Started: Make the Road New York was created in the fall of 2007 through the merger of Make the Road by Walking and the Latin American Integration Center. Make the Road by Walking was founded in 1997 and the Latin American Integration Center was founded in 1992.

Contact for MRNY’s health department: Becca Telzak-

Contact for MRNY’s food access work: Amy Richards –


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